ROI ET – The 12 boys of the Mu Pa football team and their soccer coach who were trapped in a cave in Thailand’s northern province of Chiang Rai mid-year, and who were saved in a dramatic rescue operation have visited the northeastern province of Roi Et to attend a religious ceremony marking the 100th day of Lieutenant Commander Saman Gunan’s passing in the rescue effort.
The ceremony was led by 10 Buddhist monks with the governor of Roi Et province as the chairperson. Large numbers of villagers and aid volunteers gathered at Lieutenant Commander Saman’s home to take part in the ceremony and give moral support the hero diver’s family.
Lieutenant Commander Saman lost his life on 6 July while taking oxygen supplies into the flooded Tham Luang Nang Non cave where the boys and their coach were trapped in darkness.
The attendees also went to the Kut Khaen reservoir to release fish as a tribute to Lieutenant Commander Saman. A statue of the hero diver will be installed at the Ban Nong Khu community and will be consecrated by a highly-respected Buddhist monk from Myanmar after the end of Buddhist Lent.
Meanwhile, a religious ceremony was held at a temple and near the entrance to the Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai to mark the 100th day of the death of Saman Kunan.
The religious ceremony was organized by the Mae Sai district office, the Chiang Rai cultural office and the provincial office of social development.
The ceremony started at Wat Phra That Doi Wa in Mae Sai district, then the temple’s abbot led the group to the entrance of Tham Luang cave, where the 13 were trapped for more than two weeks before being rescued by Thai and international team of skilled cave rescuers.
Tham Luang park officials opened the gate at the cave entrance to allow all the ceremony participants into the cave’s first large chamber to pay their respects to ‘Ja Sam’ and all the other people involved in the search and rescue operations.
Another religious ceremony was held at the nearby museum where a huge painting, depicting rescuers and telling a story of the rescue mission, was put on display in honor of all participants in the rescue mission that captured international attention.
By Vipaporn Pooritanasarn